New restaurant openings in Wellington 2021
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Fried potato, shaped into a thick, luscious square of rösti, topped with steak tartare. It’s simple, considered, delicious, and precisely representative of the sort of food you’ll find at Tashie Piper and Tom Millott’s new restaurant, Amok. The couple are fresh off the Sydney hospitality scene, where Millott cheffed at Poly and Ester, though they both lived and worked in Wellington only three years ago (Millott cooked at Frenchie, the restaurant which Amok has taken over). The menu is handwritten with a black Sharpie, changing day to day, but get the steak tartare if you can, a bowl of handmade pasta, and a glass of something natural and yummy.
18 Majoribanks St, Mt Victoria
ROMEO’S DELI & BAR
“This is the best bacon-and-egg sandwich I’ve ever had,” a friend said two seconds after their first bite at Romeo’s, a new deli/diner on Wellington’s Vivian St. It’s a tiny slip of a space opened by a family of brothers, a hideaway where you can slide into cosy tables or up to a narrow bar. They pour espresso during the daytime and wine at night, making it open nearly all day on Wednesday-Saturday, plus 9am-3pm on Tuesday and Sunday. Sandwiches range from $10-$16, with classic grilled cheeses, chicken salad and eggplant parm.
3/126 Vivian St, Te Aro
From the same owners as Mr Circle (who do “Chinese crepes”, or jian bing), Dear Noodle is a brand-new rice noodle spot on Courtenay Place, their bowls filled with your choice of soup — whether that’s hot and spicy, tomato, curry, or clear broths — and your choice of meat. Add some extra toppings, like pig trotters or duck blood, if you so desire.
9a Courtenay Pl, Te Aro
Having moved into the old Tinakori Bistro in the middle of 2020, Daisy’s is a neighbourhood joint named after Aunt Daisy, a legendary New Zealand radio broadcaster (and cookbook author) working from the ‘30s-’60s. They serve unfussy, seasonal food using fresh produce grown in a local garden, like a market fish crudo with lemon-burnt kawakawa and honey, or classic slow-cooked lamb shoulder with mint jelly and gravy. Daisy’s is owned by Asher Boote, who also founded fellow neighbourhood spot Hillside Kitchen, plus The Ramen Shop and BOL.
328 Tinakori Rd, Thorndon
Nikkei is a fusion of Peruvian and Japanese cuisine, often identified by dishes featuring the fresh, spicy ingredients of Peru melded with techniques from Japan. Here at Yakisoda — opened by owners Giancarlo Jesus (who is from Peru) and Kerry Burgess — the food is as serious as the drinks: you’ll find ceviche livened up with ginger, chilli, maize and citrus, smoky anticuchos of ox heart and mushroom, their takes on Japanese onigiri, plus some tasty cancha (toasted corn). Everything is snacky, aimed to pair with their delicious cocktails. We particularly recommend “The Bronk”, a whisky-and-vermouth cocktail with notes of toasted barley and banana bread.
99 Victoria St, Te Aro
Wellington doesn’t exactly have a shortage of places slinging Asian-fusion cuisine, but Hideout is set apart from the others by its speciality, Zhong dumplings, a Chengdu creation that’s one of the most popular snacks in China’s Sichuan province, topped with the sweet-and-spicy Zhong sauce. There’s more, of course — a lot more — that takes inspiration from all over Asia, like takoyaki baos, orange beef, popcorn cauliflower and hand-pulled noodles.
11c Courtenay Pl, Te Aro
This content was created in partnership with WellingtonNZ.